Seen but Not Heard
Contributor

This may seem really mean and I don’t really care. As the title suggests this article is about children, the title is of course based on the phrase “children should be seen and not heard”. I agree with this. If you are a parent and you don’t have the time, patience or love to teach your child not to be obnoxious or rude, you should at least be capable of accomplishing the lesson of silence. Silence is after all golden, even if you have to use the duct tape.
Why do I write this considering I have no children? Well, I leave the house; I am out and about in society and since it is deemed appropriate by our culture to allow children out in the general public, I have to deal with children, not in a personal or social way, just a public manner, which is minimal. We do have to breathe the same air and if the child in question is being disruptive, chances are, it is affecting me. Whether the child opened something in a store or knocked something over and the product is now all over the floor and now that isle or section of the store is closed until the overworked, underpaid employees deem it worth their time to go over and clean it up; or if I’m done shopping and the young human is in line with its creator in front of me and that young human is screaming at the top of its lungs and its owner or creator is doing nothing to silence it or to get out of line to be courteous to the other shoppers. This leaves me with the very unhappy choice of either moving to another line in order to escape the noise, or to stay and endure it. The child in this scenario in this day and age isn’t even “young”. By the way, this excuse of being “young” bothers me a lot. I was never in any point in my life allowed to misbehave so horribly in public. Being young has nothing to do with it; it’s the lack of discipline and care. The child is so ignored that it feels the need to get louder and wilder in order to be acknowledged by its parents. Negative attention is better than no attention at all in the eyes of a child, and then eventually the poor behavior becomes habit. This brings be back to the fact that some children who are disruptive in public aren’t “young”. I’ve seen twelve year-olds and up, throw fits like the ones I’ve described: just because the screams are replaced with whinny demands or screeching protests doesn’t make it less of a tantrum.
The point to all of this is for me to say that I think something isn’t working. The way children are being raised has failed for several generations now. It’s time to rethink the public standard and I am all for going back to “children should be seen and not heard”. As a parent you should be concerned with how your children behave in public, enough that you actually do something to correct your child when they are misbehaving or don’t take them out in public at all until they can behave.
My Mama wasn’t allowed to go to a restaurant until she was three years old and it was a guarantee she wouldn’t do anything that might ruin the meal. How many three year olds can you name off the top of your head that can sit through a proper dinner meal without getting “bored”? My grandfather was very old fashioned and stuck to the “children should be seen and not heard” rule to the letter. It worked then, so there is no reason for it not to work now; and as for “letting the kids be kids” rubbish, let me tell you, a child can have plenty of fun without screaming just because they like the way their voice echoes in the public bathrooms at Disneyland; and as I have previously stated, a child won’t even get loud if it’s being cared for by its parent. A well cared for child is a happy child; a happy child is a quiet child.
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